Game 76 Preview: Syracuse at Lehigh Valley

Sunday, April 17, 2016
The Phantoms finish the regular season this evening at the PPL Center. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
I'll have full coverage of tonight's Phantoms game against the Syracuse Crunch. The puck drops at 5:05 p.m. ET, but make sure you're following me on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock and now on Facebook (be sure to like the Facebook page!) for all the latest updates and information this evening. Stay tuned here online after the game for a recap of the action.

You can help keep me on the road covering the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by making a donation via GoFundMe or PayPal.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms will call it a season after tonight's finale against the Syracuse Crunch at the PPL Center, ending a season filled with injuries as well as ups and downs that will see the Phantoms miss out on the postseason for the seventh straight year.

The future is bright, however, as several incoming rookies have already got a taste of pro hockey and will be ahead of the curve by the time the fall rolls around and teams are in training camps in September.

All of the regular news, notes and stats to get you ready for tonight's game after the jump.

By The Numbers

LV: 75 games played, 33-35-4-3 = 73 points
7th Place - Atlantic Division
Last 10 Games: 6-4-0-0
Streak: 0-2-0

SYR: 75 games played, 32-28-11-4 = 79 points
4th Place - North Division
Last 10 Games: 5-3-1-1
Streak: 0-1-1

Special Teams

Power Play

LV: 16.9% - 14th in AHL
SYR: 19.6% - 5th in AHL

Penalty Kill

LV: 84.0% - 12th in AHL
SYR: 80.3% - 25th in AHL

Leading Scorers (Active)

LV:  Chris Conner (57GP, 16G-38A), Taylor Leier (70GP, 20G-29A), Petr Straka (64GP, 19G-18A), Danick Martel (66GP, 21G-14A)

SYR: Tanner Richard (70GP, 11G-43A), Jeff Tambellini (64GP, 27G-20A), Tye McGinn (72GP, 20G-24A), Yanni Gourde (65GP, 14G-30A)

Expected Starting Goaltenders

LV: Anthony Stolarz (20-18-7, 2.60 GAA, .916 SV%, 0 SO)
SYR: Adam Wilcox (9-11-6, 3.30 GAA, .892 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series

This is the fourth and final scheduled meeting between Lehigh Valley and Syracuse this season. The Phantoms are 1-2 against the Crunch this season, with their lone win coming the last time these two teams met back on March 1st in a game where Anthony Stolarz stopped a franchise record 51 shots to help the Phantoms earn a shootout win in Syracuse.

Head to Head Scoring Leaders

LV: Chris Conner (3GP, 1G-1A), Danick Martel (3GP, 2G-0A), Cole Bardreau (2GP, 1G-0A)

SYR: Tanner Richard (3GP, 0G-3A), Dylan Blujus (2GP, 0G-2A), Anthony DeAngelo (3GP, 0G-2A)

Goalies Head to Head Stats

LV: Anthony Stolarz (2GP, 1-1-0, 1.94 GAA, .953 SV%, 0 SO)
       Connor Knapp - No Stats

SYR: Adam Wilcox (2GP 1-0-1, 1.45 GAA, .946 SV%, 0 SO)
          Kristers Gudlevskis (1GP, 1-0-0, 3.00 GAA, .897 SV%, 0 SO)

Season Series Schedule

Wednesday 3/1, Lehigh Valley - 3 at Syracuse - 2 (SO)
Sunday 4/17, Syracuse at Lehigh Valley - 5:05 p.m. ET

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Roster Notes

Anthony Stolarz is expected to get the start in net tonight for the Phantoms, with Connor Knapp serving as the team's backup.

Travis Sanheim will be back in the Phantoms' lineup tonight per assistant coach Riley Cote. The plan going into the final two weeks of the season was to rotate in Reece Willcox - no need to play Sanheim in a 3-in-3.

Both forwards Jay Rosehill and Aaron Palushaj served their suspensions, but neither are expected to play. Rosehill skated on a makeshift fifth line at practice Thursday while Palushaj wasn't present for the team's skate in Whitehall Thursday.

Michael Parks has been skating in a yellow non-contact jersey at practice for the past two weeks. I had ruled him out for the season after a conversation I had with Parks about six weeks ago, but it's nice to see him skating out there. He's been out of the lineup since the Phantoms' third game of the season back on October 17th in Wilkes-Barre.

Goaltender Alex Lyon, whom the Flyers signed this week out of Yale University to an entry-level contract, will not be reporting to Lehigh Valley this spring per GM Ron Hextall.

Veteran Jason LaBarbera has been ruled out for the season. It appeared as though the Phantoms would finish their final six games with Martin Ouellette and Connor Knapp, but the Flyers reassigned Anthony Stolarz to Lehigh Valley.

Defenseman Travis Sanheim and forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel made their pro debuts Friday night in Wilkes-Barre against the rival Penguins in the last meeting between the two teams.

Forwards Radel Fazleev (hand) and Travis Konecny (shoulder), both of whom have been eliminated from the junior league playoffs, will not play with the Phantoms this spring due their injuries.

Scratches: Jason LaBarbera (out for the season), Christian Marti (healthy), Phil DeSimone (healthy), Michael Parks (out for the season), Aaron Palushaj (healthy), Radel Fazleev (out for the season), Petr Straka (healthy), Derek Mathers (undisclosed), Adam Comrie (healthy) and Logan Pyett (out for the season)

Expected Lines:

Oskar Lindblom - Tim Brent - Chris Conner
Taylor Leier - Cole Bardreau - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Dalton Smith - Pavel Padakin - Danick Martel
Tyrell Goulbourne - Steven Swavely - Jay Rosehill

Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Davis Drewiske - Reece Willcox
Travis Sanheim - Robert Hagg

Anthony Stolarz - Connor Knapp

Recent Transactions

4/14: ADD - RW Derek Mathers returned on loan from Reading (ECHL)

4/9: DEL - G Martin Ouellette loaned to Reading (ECHL)
4/7: ADD - G Anthony Stolarz returned on loan by Philadelphia (NHL)
4/4: ADD - RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel re-assigned by Philadelphia (NHL) from Val d'Or (QMJHL)
4/4: ADD - LW Radel Fazleev re-assigned by Philadelphia (NHL) from Calgary (WHL)
4/4: ADD - D Travis Sanheim re-assigned by Philadelphia (NHL) from Calgary (WHL)
3/29: DEL - D Max Lamarche re-assigned by Philadelphia (NHL) to Reading (ECHL)
3/26: ADD - F Oskar Lindblom signed to ATO

You can help keep me on the road covering the Lehigh Valley Phantoms by making a donation via GoFundMe or PayPal.


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